Son holds knife to wrist

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DrPepper, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. DrPepper

    DrPepper New Member

    So I write my son a letter today explaining why I think it's best that he move out of the house. I used the approach that this would be better for all of us involved and mainly it's what he wants and needs as he won't follow the house rules and I listed those too, just in case he was unclear. Told him he needs to find his own way.

    After he read it, he told me he had two thoughts, 1) to commit suicide, 2) that he will be forced to live on the streets. A short while later he handed me the phone. It was someone from the suicide hotline that he had called. They told me they wanted to make sure someone in the house was aware that he called. Soon after, he walked into the kitchen, pulled open the drawer and pulled out a knife and held it to his wrist. He didn't slice and I don't know if he would have. It wasn't the sharpest knife I have but could probably do some damage. I took the knife away and asked him "are you crazy?" knowing he might really be crazy. His little brother said he walked into the kitchen again when I was in the bathroom looking in the knife drawer.

    difficult child told me he wanted to go to the psychiatric ward. He spent a few days there in September for suicidal thoughts. No actual attempt. difficult child tells me girlfriend (ex) hates him. I think, yea, she probably does cuz he's such a freak. I suggest we leave the house for a while to deflate the situation. We go to eat. difficult child has two hot dogs with everything, a large fry, and a Coke. I thought a pretty healthy appetite for someone who almost committed suicide.

    We come home. Therapist finally calls and I relay the situation. As a professional, he is now obligated to call the authorities. Police arrive and take difficult child away in an ambulance. He will most likely be admitted to the psychiatric ward. I hope there's a program he can go into (overnight) so he won't be back in just a few days. We inspect his bedroom with him gone. We find a bottle of lemonade vodka and know he was planning to use it tonight. We also realize there are some beers missing leftover from the holidays. I hope he was scared sh--less when the police came knocking on his bedroom door. husband, me and little bro are all a bit exhausted but will sleep better with-o difficult child around. Unfortunate, but true. Goodnight y'all.

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Threats of suicide should always be taken seriously. Always. That means you call authorities and let them decide.

    That said, sounds like pure manipulation. I mean, how could you even consider tossing him out of his comfy home if he's gonna kill himself? (and yes, people truly do that and over lesser things too)

    Now you need to think about if you're going to follow through with the plans regardless of his reactions to it.

    Glad he's safe for tonight and as long as they hold him. Rest up. This drama may not be over for a while.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Anytime he pulls a knife, call 911. Then, if it's a manipulation, he won't like you doing t hat. But it also sounds like a manipulation to me. He ate all that? He thought "I got her again." JMO...could be wrong.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I too thing this is manipulative to the max.. .he is trying to kind of hold you hostage with guilt. However I agree you have to take all suicide talk as serious and calling the therapist and the ambulance was the right thing to do.... and maybe it will make him think about the consequences of saying that stuff.

    My son has not threatened suicide to us directly but has definitely done that to girlfriends before.... and I found out this year that when he was in middle school he was suicidal... and this year when he started feeling serious about it he called us and then admitted himself into the hospital.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds like pure manipulation but I would so call him on it and make him miserable every darned time. I would imagine if he gets dragged off to the ER by cop car or ambulance every time he threatens anything this will soon get tiring.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If its manipulation, it will get tiring.
    If he really needs help... at some point, somebody there will put 2+2 together.
    Either way... he's getting a message: if the problem is real, get to the place of help... if its not real, knock it off.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Yes, it does sound like manipulation. But... Call. Every time. Every time.

    Onyxx finally quit threatening when we repeatedly took her to the ER... Doesn't mean she's not depressed, or thinking about it, but she realized it wasn't a game.

  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Chiming in to agree with the others about calling. Call immediately, call calmly, but call. I am glad he's safe and I hope he is receptive to any help they have to offer him.

  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    And now that he is out... can you talk to the doctor (they probably cant talk to you without his permission butyou can talk to them... and let them know that they need to help him find resources for where he is gonna leave. Because he is still probably thinking his little threat might work, especially since you surely can't throw him out when he just got out of the hospital....

    I am not making light of his threat, really i know he could do it impulsively and so it is right to call for help....but maybe you can use the situation now to your advantage???? Of course it is your son so only you know if that would work.... Huge Hug! sorry about what happened but have a good sleep!
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi Pepper,

    I am so sorry for your hurt, and for the pain that my new nephew is going through. Whatever is going through his mind makes it no less easy on you -or him, or his little brother. This is a family in crisis, and I think you did a phenominal job on your feet to defuse what could have been a potentially volitle sutiation rapidly and with an extremely level head. Bravo mi` lady. How cooler heads prevailed here is nothing short of astounding to me - so pat yourself on the back.

    Suicidal tendencies actually run in my sons bio-fathers side of the family. I had never been exposed to any of this madness (and I don't say that jokinly either) until I was married into that family. My x (quite another story - but briefly explained here) during my 13 year marriage had well over twenty-two very seemingly serious suicide attempts that made me have several hours and hours of conversations with therapists and mental heath care workers. Oddly enough different takes for different levels of severity to the threats but all agreeing to some degree that had he wanted to truly die each time? It would have just been a done deal, and not everyone leaves a note, or shows signs like in the movies.

    I say run in the family because having a large family on both of his parents side - several of his relatives and their children had died from suicide in years prior. One of his Father's brothers (more like a Grandpa to our son) was supposed to go on a trip with me. I left for work while he was packing one morning, came home - found a note on the door and it said - Don't come in - I'm sorry - call 911. He had sat in a chair in the dining room put a pistol in his mouth aimed it at the top of his head and blew his brains all over the kitchen. My x - several times tried to overdose - but always seemingly found his way back to the house 'just in time' to be saved, and had I known then about his misery what I know now? I don't think the last time I would have called 911 for him.

    My own son, on Zoloft tried to hang himself twice - never said a word to anyone the first time - they just found him in the closet at the group home hanging by shoe strings near blue in color, cut him down and took him to the ER. Years later after being incarcerated, they put in back on Zoloft against MY wishes due to the fact that it made him suicidal and he called and said good bye, I called his shrink in jail and the same time we were on the phone they called code for a suicide - he had hung himself by bedsheets from his top bunk. Since then? He's made lame attempts at saying he was going to kill himself - but when he has I've basically offered to assist stating I can't take the junk that goes along with it - or that he's loved and will be missed, or ask him what he thinks his funeral will be like - and convert the talk to something deep - making him think. When he was younger -about 7 or 8 he tried cutting, and I went into the kitchen and got a knife held his arm out and threatened to really help him if he needed to FEEL something - and after that? That BS stopped - so he's not too sure if I would truly assist with the suicide. I'm not sure he wants to push it in other words. Mostly though - When he gets to where he feels his back is up against a wall and he can't use his coping skills? He just calls because I felt that was a door that needed to be left open. I won't listen to the manipulation - but I WILL always talk to him as long as it doesn't drag on about "I'm really gonna do it, I'm gonna - this or that." Yeah really? Well I'll miss ya - not a thing I can do about it...I miss your brothers too but I can't bring them back..anymore than I could you - and just for the got to stick around and see how loosing them hurt....but life goes on, the world doesn't stop because you got off of it..and you really do have things to contribute but you can't do those things with your head up your ****." Straight talk froma weary weary Mom.

    When we threw Dude out? He had no place to go really - and no money, no education, no job........the clothes on his back.So yeah it kills a part of you - but it helps them learn to live --alone and eventually you hope and pray they come around and grow up - because the alternative is to have a 56 year old drug or alcohol addict, non-working, abusive man child that can't do anything for himself living in your house when you are in your 70's .......and STILL complaining about it and stressing out and wasting YOUR whole life - or take a chance that at 19 you do this and they get kicked around a little by life's hard knocks...while they're young enough to take it ---make something of themselves, get sick enough of living life in the dump and fast lane.....and become something worth while and YOU BOTH get your lives back.

    Don't give up Pepper......Stand to your beliefs.. Your son needs you to do that. Just pray for his safety in the mean time, and let him know you're always there to talk = buit that's all you can give right now. That love, and prayer.

    Hugs, Love and longwindedness...(sorry)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    beautiful star... you have been through so much. I think it is very special how this board connects people. You are both amazing.
  12. DrPepper

    DrPepper New Member

    Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom and offers of encouragement and support. The board makes me laugh and cry and laugh until I cry and has been my lifeline for support lately. So a big THANK YOU to all of you.

    My son is now in the hospital. We were supposed to have a group meeting today, my son, my husband, the social worker and me. We arrived in full armor. :tinfoilhatsmile:When we got there the social worker said that my son did not want to join us. I have only spoken directly to my son once since he was taken away Thursday night. He asked if I could bring a few of his things. I told him on the phone that the gist of our meeting with social worker wouldn't be around whether or not he was going to come back home because that was no way no how gonna happen. My son, the manipulation master, probably thought his refusal to see us would lay some hurt and guilt. And it does hurt a little. But, we weren't all that excited to be seeing him either.

    This time is different than his last hospital stay. Then we were all "how you doin' honey?" and "do you need anything while you're there?" and bringing him cutesy "feel better" cards and such. This time, not so much. Even his ex came to see him last time and them reuniting was like a scene out of the movie The Notebook. Yep, he had a lot of people in his corner then and blew that all to hell. Now we are all a little stronger, a bit more bitter, a tad more disgusted... well, you get it. We are hardened to what he does. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    Since we have made up our minds about his not coming back home, where he will go is a question. We think he should go into a residential program for substance abuse and than to a group home or halfway house. After that, maybe the military. This foofy, spoiled-but-doesn't-know-it suburban kid wouldn't last a day on the streets. His doctor doesn't think we should waste our money on a program if my son isn't recognizing or committed to changing. Also, I've added a new term to my vocabulary to describe him and that is "King Baby." These are the primary traits of a King Baby and most fit my son. I've termed it "man-child" before this new term came along. Basically, he's a 5 yr old child in a 19 yr old man's body.
    • Angry or afraid of authority figures and will attempt to work them against each other in order to get their own way
    • seek approval and frequently lose their own identities in the process
    • able to make good first impression but unable to follow through
    • have difficulty accepting personal criticism and become threatened and angry when criticized
    • have addictive personalities and are driven to extremes
    • are often immobilized by anger and frustration and are rarely satisfied
    • are usually lonely even when surrounded by people
    • are chronic complainers who blame others for what is wrong in their lives
    • feel unappreciated and think they don't fit
    • see the world as a jungle filled with selfish people who aren't there for them
    • see everything as a catastrophe, a life or death satiation
    • judge life in absolutes: black and white, right and wrong
    • live in the past, fearful of the future
    • have strong feeling of dependence and exaggerated fears of abandonment
    • fear failure and rejections and don't try new things that they might not do well
    • are obsessed with money and material things
    • dream big plans and schemes and have little ability to make them happen
    • cannot tolerate illness in themselves or others
    • prefer to charm superiors and intimidate subordinates
    • believe rules and laws are for others, not for themselves
    • often become addicted to excitement, life in the fast lane
    • hold emotional pain within and lose touch with their feelings
    Has anyone had experience with recovery for a King Baby?
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there! So glad you updated us. I dont have that experience but wanted to just say I was thinking of you and while I am glad he is ok, I am even more glad you are in a place to really do what you need to do. So great hub and you are together on this and though it may not feel like it to him, you are loving him toward growth.

    Hugs, Buddy
  14. DrPepper

    DrPepper New Member

    Buddy, yes, it has been good that my husband and me are united on this. If we weren't, well, that would be really bad. I think about that someday my son will be in a good place and he will thank us for this tough love. But that is a fantasy right now. I also think that he may end up on the streets a crack addict or in jail. Scary.

    P.S. Love your avatar!
  15. DrPepper

    DrPepper New Member

    Star, my son is lucky to have you as a new "auntie." I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I think I Love You!! ((wink))
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    DrPepper, we all love Star. :)

    I have a Queen Baby. My step difficult child will be 32 next month and you described her pretty darn well in that list of characteristics. Although I'd have to add perpetual victim in there too......and some other not so nice things. And yes, it's really bad when you have an 11 yr old granddaughter that is more mature and responsible than her own parents.

  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Ah yes......King Baby.........and someday? With age comes wisdome and your village is missing their idiot.....Thank God. Many of those things you described were Dude. Not so much anymore - once he had to experience WHY those things happened in REAL LIFE - and handle the situations all on his own? His tolerance grew, his patience increased for not only others but himself and he started to look at OTHER younger angry men in a different light thinking - (literally) OMG Dude - calm down, don't be like that and had his (HOLY SMOKES) I sound like my therapist moment. THAT was a real eye opener. Once he had to grow a patience and a tolerance? Things all of a sudden became a little more understandable and tolerant to him instead of someone rushing in to FIX the situation so he wouldn't was like the world said - OH you're unhappy about standing in line at the hospital for your bee stings (12 wasp stings to the face to be exact) - then go home because we have gunshot victims, and heart attack victims, and a baby with fever - and GUESS WHERE YOU get in line at boy? - So he left, got worse and HAD to go back and WAIT.HIS.TURN. WITH.HIS.MOUTH.SHUT.TO.BE.SEEN. Quite a revelation for a difficult child who was used to blowing up and getting his way.

    LIFE teaches difficult child's things that sometimes sadly, an excellent Mother can not. - (huh I just wrote that and think it's good - lol) -

    You are a good Mother-------Tell yourself that every morning. I'm saying it to you right now. And he's not a BAD kid -----he just has this 'ships that pass in the night' mentality about some life lessons.....he'll be okay. The alternative that scares ALL of us is - IF I turn him out? He will die. And I don't think there is a Mother here who hasn't thought about it that way. WHO hasn't 'thought - OMG he can't deal with the world, without MY guidance and protection he will die. That's fair to think at first, but how fair is it to keep a man (20, 21) in your care...and NOT allow him to get 'hit' by life...and end up like my x? It is a chance....but the outcome to me is death either way - I don't think my ex's life is a life. It's a miserable existance and if his Mother was alive still? HER life is a miserable existance watching him and listening to him demand things for 50 years plus from her and manipulate her. In that instance it would be better if he had died and she had been able to live. in my humble opinion. Being drunk, addicted to drugs and existing for 50 years like that isn't a life. So in my humble opinion it was a hard judgement call but we said ----Okay - GO....and pushed him out and prayed that he would be SO sickened by the ways of the world he would avoid the crime, the drugs, the booze, and the things that we raised him to NOT be like that he so seemed to WANT to be like.....and he got a dose of it in spades out on the streets. Our son wasnt' 'street' smart either - thought he was......sure he thought he was....and he made it. It wasn't easy to hear about dumpster diving for food. IT MADE ME VOMIT. It wasn't easy to hear "me and my dog are sleeping under a bridge..." I didn't sleep....I was worried sick. All of me wanted to save there and find him numerous times - but THOSE WERE HIS CHOICES. He had to find his way out - his own solutions. In all this madness? He did. It's not exactly what he wanted - but then that makes him strive for more doesn't it? WOrk harder....set goals. NOW he has goals. Instead of sitting around MY house complaining ---about duplex cremes and NOT oreos.......he's worried about having a coat. Imagine that. Before he had five or six coats and didn't "LIKE" any of them.

    SO even their perspectives and values change.......if you allow the world to change them.
  18. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I definitely have a King Baby.... all those things fit... plus a bunch of other things. LOL.

    Sounds like you are doing great... better than I did about not beign overly sympathetic this time. I get hung up on the fact that I know my son has some major abandonment issues... I think coming from adoption issues and so I never want him to feel abandoned....

    I do agree with the social worker that you shouldn't pay for treatment unless he wants it... however knowing he has no place to go may make him want treatment as an alternative... and I am not sure that is a bad thing. As I believe Nancy said once, a lot of people don't really want treatment or think they need to stop using drugs when they start treatment... and it is a start but you have to realize it may not be the last time he needs it....

    My son is in a new sober house and has been in rehab twice and a TBS when he was younger....I keep hoping this time will take and maybe it will and maybe it won't.

    You are doing well.... clearly coming home does not sound like a good option for any of you.

  19. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Dr. Pepper: It sounds like you are being realistic about your son and his problems. How long will your difficult child be able to stay in the hospital? Do you think that he is ready to get help for his substance abuse? I am in a similiar situation right now with my difficult child, but he doesn't really want to stop using drugs. He told me that he will "slow down" his drug use, but he sees no reason to stop completely. Our difficult child is 18 and the drugs are basically ruining his life right now: failing in school, he got arrested last week and spent the night in jail, has lost all his good friends and now only hangs around with loser teens who get high all the time. Our difficult child is another one of those who wouldn't last a day on the streets, so my husband and I told him that he had to agree to rehab or he could not live in our house. He told me (basically screamed) that no one was going to put him in a hospital, and he would rather live on the streets. He left our house and only 5 days later he was arrested for snatching a woman's purse to get money. Now he has finally agreed to rehab because of the threat of jail, but he still wants to get high every day. Can you ask your son's therapist to recommend a Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? This will give your difficult child the help that he needs and also give your family some peace and quiet from all his problems for a short time. Good luck with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and let us know how it is going.
  20. DrPepper

    DrPepper New Member

    Pine, difficult child gets out of the hospital today but they might possibly keep him for another day. The plan was for him to go straight into a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and he's agreeable to going, but there's a process for admission and so there's been some question as to where he might go if the place doesn't have a spot even if it's just for another day. Little bro has anxiety that he might end up back at home and I feel badly about that.

    The couple of phone calls I've had with him this morning are that he's trying to call the shots. He first told me he would have a friend pick him up from the hospital instead of staying with the relatives I had lined up. It's a friend that still lives at home and they don't know his situation. I told him that if this happened, the deal was off. No program, no home to live in with us. Also, that I would have to call his friend's parents and tell them what's going on. We argued about this and the trouble he can get into over the course of a day is just scary. The hospital said they would not release him to a friend anyhow, so that's good.

    The last conversation we had is when are you (me) going to be here to pick me up. Kind of like hurry up and get here I need to get out to smoke a cigarette. Like I have nothing better to do than be his chauffeur! This kid really sends me over the edge. For the record, I don't approve of smoking cigarettes either, but it is the lesser bad thing he's been doing. I'm not sure how invested he is in getting clean. I know he doesn't want to be homeless and he's going along with the program. Still, there are no guarantees that a program will be the cure all and everyone will live happily ever after. This is a tough day for us with what comes next.

    I feel for you that you have to sit idly by watching your son spiral out of control and seemingly throwing away his life. It's hard to think of anything worse when you're living it. A hellish nightmare for all, I know. I suppose at some point you just can't save your kids from themselves. That is hard.